Monday, December 15, 2008
I'm editing this to something that might be a bit more understandable-I hope.
Cushy Soft Fingerless Mitts
Knit flat on a circular needle, then sewn up the side and the thumb worked in Magic loop-Bernat Soft Baby yarn never felt so good on the hands.
Bernat Soft Baby yarn in white, or your choice of color-one skein will make several pairs. Or use a soft yarn which will give you the ribbing gauge below.
29" US#5 circular needle, 29" is the minimum length to use, longer ones may also be used. If you make them one at a time, a 16" circular can be used, but it is too short to make a pair at the same time.
4 stitch markers
2 small stitch holders
Note: You only need about a tennis ball size ball of yarn for each mitt. Knit both at the same time by winding a ball of yarn for each mitt off the skein.
Gauge: Ribbing-unstretched=4¼"LX1¾"W-L is measured across the bottom while piece is on the needle cable. If your gauge is close to this, you should be all right-mitt will fit most hands as they are quite stretchy.
If you need to make mitts smaller or larger for whatever reason, just make sure to CO an even number of sts and remember the thumb gusset is worked on the middle two sts. Also adjust your gusset size accordingly-less if they're for really small hands or more if the hands are larger than normal-wouldn't want to cut the circulation from the thumb-or make it too floppy-just use your best judgement.
Abbreviations used: K: Knit, P: Purl, CO: Cast On, sl: slip, st(s): stitch(es), st st: stockinette stitch, PM: Place Marker, KF&B: Knit in the Front and then in the Back of indicated st for an increase, beg: begin(ning)
If you want to work both mitts at the same time, wind about a tennis ball size ball of yarn from the skein for each mitt.
So, how does one knit a pair (or more) of mitts at the same time on the same needles? You use one ball of yarn for each mitt and cast each mitt onto the needle using its ball. You then work one row from the first mitt using that yarn, push it down onto the cable, pull up the other mitt and work that row with its yarn, turn, repeat until mitts are done. With a long enough circular needle, and enough balls of yarn, you could conceivably knit two pairs of mitts-but I would be careful not to tangle your yarn too much-or do this-unless you absolutely had to have two pairs of mitts done in the shortest amount of time possible.
Using the long tail cast-on, CO 40 sts from one ball onto the circular needle, push these sts down to the cable, then CO 40 sts from the other ball onto the same end of the needle, turn and start working mitts. Make both mitts exactly the same-I will be giving instructions for only one mitt, as they are ambidextrous and can be worn on either hand.
Note: Always sl the first st of each row-for K st, sl as if to K, for P st, sl as if to P.
Work 12 rows K1, P1 ribbing-This is what is measured for gauge
Work 8 rows st st
Next row: K19, PM, KF&B of next 2 sts, PM, K19-42 sts
Next row: P across, sl markers when you reach them and cont to sl them.
Next row: K to marker, KF&B of next st, K to st before marker, KF&B of next st, K19-44 sts
Next row: P across
Rep prev 2 rows two times more-48 sts
Next row: K to marker, remove marker, K1, sl next 8 sts onto right needle WITHOUT working them, then sl them onto a stitch holder to be worked later, K1, Remove next marker, K to end-40 sts
Beg with P row, work about an inch and a half of st st, or until total length of mitt is about 6"-end by working a P row.
Next 4 rows: Work K1, P1 ribbing, BO in ribbing, cut yarn-leaving a long length for sewing and pull the end through the last st to secure it.
Thumb: Attach yarn and K the 8 sts from the holder, then slide these sts onto the cable, Pick up and K 8 more sts evenly around the thumb opening, then join and work 4 rnds of K1, P1 ribbing using the Magic Loop method. BO in ribbing, cut yarn, secure, then hide all yarn ends, except the long one at the top-thread this end into a yarn needle and sew the side seam of the mitt together using your preferred method of sewing a seam-making sure to fold the mitt with WS facing out. Hide yarn end when finished and turn mitt inside out.
Note: If you have trouble with Magic Loop, you can use a set of #5 DPNs-Divide the 16 thumb sts evenly onto the needles and work 4 rnds of K1, P1 ribbing. For a set of 5 needles, divide the sts evenly onto 4 of them-4 sts to each needle, for a set of 4 needles, have 5 sts to your first two needles and 6 sts on your third needle.
This pattern is perfectly adaptable to working in the round as well. If you don't want to sew a seam, simply grab your #5 knitting in the round needles of choice, divide your stitches and start working. You may have to recalculate gauge a bit, since stockinette in the round has a slightly different gauge to stockinette worked flat. But as stretchy as the mitts are, I doubt there will be much recalculating.
If you do this using Magic Loop or two circs, change where you put your thumb gusset to as close as the middle two stitches on either side as you can get-it really won't matter-they'll still look and fit the same.
Just calculate about 1¾" to 2" of ribbing at the wrist, about an inch of stockinette before shaping thumb gusset then calculate what you would need for a comfortable thumb opening, then just add the two end stitches back and put the rest on a stitch holder, then work until mitt is between 5½" to 6" long, then work top ribbing.
Oh, and you'll do your gusset increases on every other round after you start them and work one more round even after finishing them before putting the stitches off on the holder.
For thumb opening, you want to pick up and knit the same number of stitches around the opening as you have on the holder and work your ribbing like the flat mitt.